Navigation Links
Feats of strength begin a lizard's day

Male Jamaican anole lizards begin and end the day with displays of reptilian strength -- push-ups, head bobs and extensions of a colorful neck flap, or dewlap -- to defend their territory, according to a new study.

"Anoles are highly visual species, so in that sense it is not surprising that they would use visual displays to mark territory," said Terry J. Ord, a postdoctoral researcher at UC Davis and at Harvard University's Museum of Comparative Zoology. The lizards are the first animals known to mark dawn and dusk through visual displays, rather than the much better known chirping, tweeting, and other sounding off by birds, frogs, geckos and primates.

Ord studied four species of Jamaican forest lizard: Anolis lineatopus, Anolis sagrei, Anolis grahami, and Anolis opalinus. Females establish small territories allowing access to food and other resources, while males stake out larger territories allowing them access to several females. The males spend much of the day sitting on tree trunks and displaying head motions, push-ups, and dewlap extensions, all to warn other males away from their territory.

These displays of strength help avert actual physical confrontations between male lizards, which can be very fierce and destructive, Ord said.

Ord videotaped individual males at different times of day, from before dawn to dusk. In all four species, he found distinct peaks of activity at daybreak and for about two hours afterward, and again just before dark. Anoles leave their daytime perches at night to find safe shelter from nocturnal predators.

Scientists disagree on why birds chorus at dawn and dusk: competing ideas range from territorial defense to manifestations of circadian rhythms (the animal's internal clock). Ord said his work suggests male anoles use their morning displays primarily to mark territory.

"The dawn chorus may be a way of communicating having survived the night," Ord said. "If in the morning a bird doesn't hear its neighbor, or an anole doesn't see its neighbor, it may be an opportunity for the animal to expand its territory."


Contact: Andy Fell
University of California - Davis

Related biology news :

1. Armored fish study helps strengthen Darwins natural selection theory
2. ASM and FIND to partner on strengthening infectious disease diagnosis in developing nations
3. European Science Foundation aims to strengthen regenerative medicine
4. In Todays Economy, You Can Strengthen Your Company by Building Your Brand
5. Ibuprofen or acetaminophen in long-term resistance training increases muscle mass/strength
6. Strengthening the tumor-fighting ability of T cells
7. Proteins strength lies in h-bond cooperation
8. Woods Hole Research Center debuts new image mosaic that will strengthen global forest monitoring
9. Runners high may also strengthen hearts
10. Building a stronger roof over your head: 3 little pigs project begins first tests
11. 8-day undersea mission begins experiment to improve coral reef restoration
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
Feats of strength begin a lizard's day
(Date:6/27/2016)... June 27, 2016 Research and Markets has ... 2016-2020" report to their offering. ... America to grow at a CAGR of 12.28% during ... based on an in-depth market analysis with inputs from industry experts. ... the coming years. The report also includes a discussion of the ...
(Date:6/22/2016)... , June 22, 2016  The American College of ... Trade Show Executive Magazine as one of the fastest-growing ... May 25-27 at the Bellagio in Las Vegas ... the highest percentage of growth in each of the following ... exhibiting companies and number of attendees. The 2015 ACMG Annual ...
(Date:6/22/2016)... ANGELES , June 22, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... identity management and verification solutions, has partnered ... edge software solutions for Visitor Management, Self-Service ... provides products that add functional enhancements ... partnership provides corporations and venues with an ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/27/2016)... -- Alex,s Lemonade Stand Foundation (ALSF), a leading national childhood ... state-of-the-art bioinformatics lab, using ,big data, to advance the ... Liz Scott , co-executive director of ALSF and ... Washington, D.C. , hosted by Vice ... of pediatric cancer research and awareness. ...
(Date:6/27/2016)... June 27, 2016  Global demand for enzymes ... through 2020 to $7.2 billion.  This market includes ... cleaning products, biofuel production, animal feed, and other ... and biocatalysts). Food and beverages will remain the ... increasing consumption of products containing enzymes in developing ...
(Date:6/27/2016)... June 27, 2016 /PRNewswire/ - BIOREM Inc. (TSX-V: BRM) ("Biorem" ... by its major shareholders, Clean Technology Fund I, LP ... States based venture capital funds which together ... (on a fully diluted, as converted basis), that they ... their entire equity holdings in Biorem to TUS Holdings ...
(Date:6/27/2016)... , June 27, 2016  Sequenom, Inc. (NASDAQ: ... enabling healthier lives through the development of innovative products ... the United States denied its ... the claims of Sequenom,s U.S. Patent No. 6,258,540 (",540 ... criteria established by the Supreme Court,s Mayo Collaborative Services ...
Breaking Biology Technology: